Yoder’s Variable Displacement Damper is another unique feature: Essentially, it’s a metal plate that may be moved from left to right along the lower smoke box. Positioned all the way left, it concentrates heat directly over the fire pot for conductive searing with optional aluminum GrillGrates. Move it back to the right for even heat across the entire smoke box. Yoders are sold primarily through independent retailers.
Hey Jon – I believe that Yoder pellet smokers are built sturdy enough to be placed within a backyard patio/outdoor kitchen setup. Contact them to inquire about this at email@example.com.
I think you get the picture. In any case, you can see how pellet smoking really does have its own culture to it. I really hope you’ve found value in this selection of Pellet Grill reviews. If so, please consider sharing it with your BBQ friends! And for sure comment below and let me know about your favorite pellet grills, pellet blends, and methods! 🙂
Pellet grills work in much the same way, albeit with the heat exchanger removed so that the smoke produced by the burning wood pellets bathes your food in its goodness and helps render the barbecue product you’re after.
If you really need the best, the Memphis Grills Elite Wood Fire Pellet Smoker Grill really delivers. While it doesn’t come cheap, the Memphis Grills Elite packs a set of world class grilling features into a durable stainless-steel package for long lasting durability.
With this grill you get over 400 square inches of coking space and an easy to use digital temperature control. With heats ranging from 160 to 500 degrees, there’s plenty of room for both smoking and grilling.
Yes. However, some pellet grills perform better in cold weather than others. Most pellet grills that use a standard non-PID controller have been tuned for ideal conditions. That means when a manufacturer claims their grill can maintain that +/- 20°F, they are referring to a 75°F day with no wind or precipitation. If it’s windy or cold, these grills tend to lose their ability to maintain that temperature range.
The controller only comes with 9 temperature settings, so you don’t have the ability to dial in the exact temperature you want. This doesn’t mean the unit doesn’t work, you can still cook amazing food. It’s just more geared to beginners who don’t want to fuss around with temperatures
Grilling for a large group of people, such as family and friends, is possible with this grill through the ultra-wide grilling area, so everyone will get their bite once the cooking is done. To get the best grilling performance, Camp Chef Pellets are recommended since they produce better and convenient grilling heat. The pellets are pure wood, so it is assured that your flavor won’t be affected in any way.
As for what is the pellet smoker, a wood pellet smoker is a classic offset barrel smoker, but this time its firebox is replaced with a side-mounted hopper. It can also have stainless steel super grill with a hopper from behind. There are claims that pellet grills are a fad that can never compare to a classic barbecue griller.
Hello John. Thank you for your comment and questions here! In short, you will not get the same smoke profile on a pellet smoker that you do with your BGE or PBC. That said, I do think there are some ways to mitigate this. Yes, I do feel the Smoke Tube and Mojo Cubes add smoke flavor that is detectable. Fred at Mojo Bricks does good work, and I recommend his products without reservation. This said, I have been happy with the smoke level I see in the pellet smokers I’ve used. Starting low does and ramping up later is a technique I’ve used with success when extra smoke is desired. The Rec-Tec grill gets high reviews across the board. I have no hesitation backing them, along with Green Mountain Grills. Both are made in China, but the companies have great customer service support and strong user communities. I believe each has a well-contributed Facebook group or two.
Fans of gadgets – More expensive models come with very interesting features. You can download app for your phone or tablet (iOS and Android). Then you can use Wi-Fi to connect with your pellet grill. It allows you to monitor the temperature inside the grill while away from it. Some of the grills even make it possible to check the internal temperature of the meat.
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It’s got built in manual controls, but there’s also the option to download an app to your phone so you can control your smoker through your wifi! Honestly, this really impressed me, and I don’t know why other manufacturers aren’t all over this. Apparently there’s a cloud based app coming out soon so you can control your grill anywhere you can get internet, so you could be sitting at your kids football game whilst checking the status of your post-victory feast! The controls are also fully programmable, so you could for example set it to smoke for 5 hours and then cook for 2, finishing just as you pull up onto your drive.
The Pit Boss Grills 340 Wood Pellet Grill is a great grill with dial-in digital control and led read-out. Pellets are 100% natural hardwood. This grill has got an automatic start and cool down. It’s heavy duty with 16 gauge steel construction. It’s easy to assemble. It’s a little expensive. However, other grills are more expensive and seeing that I would recommend this to anyone.
Yo, Kevin! Hope that you can soon review one of my all-time favorite purchases, the Traeger Li’l Tex Elite Smoker/Grill. After using it for a couple of months, I gave away my two year old gas-grill to my grandson. We’ve done chicken, turkey, pheasant, lamb, all kinds of beef, pork and sausages including some wonderful ribs and brisket. Our Easter Rib Roast turned out terrific as did the chunks of assorted sausages that we did for another family get-together. I was never a big fan of grilling until we got our Traeger. Both Traeger and the web-sites like yours are full of great recipes and ideas.
Hey Shannon – they all have their merits. Budget dictates a lot. If you’re in the $1000 or under range, Green Mountain and Rec Tec are great choices. Both have developed near cult followings, with GMG a little ahead of the curve on that front having been around a bit longer. I love the Yoders as far as moving up on the price range is concerned. Will last you forever and they offer a solid product with great support. MAK grills are just beautifully made. There’s no other way to put it. The “General” models are superbly crafted. Love that MAK offers built in cold smoking as a capability. Am I helping here or just making things worse? Hahaha.
The Benefits of the Pellets: Pellets work so well with the ease of use of a pellet grill because they’re 100% all-natural. They don’t have binders, chemicals, fillers, or petroleum products within them. They serve as a source of compact energy (8,500 BTU per pound) and smoke flavor. Most importantly, there’s little to no ash from them. Compared to coals, there are no flare-ups involved.
Pellet smokers are chosen by most home chefs because they use a unique system to indirectly cook all of their favorite meats. When you turn a pellet smoker on, you activate its igniter rod, and the rod starts to feed wood pellets into the unit’s firebox. This creates the smoke that you need to cook your favorite foods; it does this automatically, so you don’t have to spend time messing around with charcoal, wood or temperature settings.
There are some fairly high tech components in pellet smokers. There are also moving parts, such as the auger. This means that there are parts of your cooker that may break, and that you may not be able to fix yourself.
The PID controller is different from other controllers in that it does not used fixed cycles. Instead it is constantly measuring the temperature of the grill and adjusts the cycle as needed. This ensures the correct cooking temperature is always maintained.
Excellent article, but I have an off beat question. What about cleanup and maintenance of the pellet smokers you have reviewed? Is anyone better or easier for ash cleanup? I have a friend who has Yoder and his only complaint is the amount of time and complexity of cleaning up the pellet ash. Thank you in advance.
In terms of downsides, pellet smokers can be a pain in the ass to clean, but no more than any other type of smoker that takes solid fuel. More expensive pellet smokers normally have some sort of cleaning mechanism built in, as well, which makes cleanup a lot easier.
Smoking v. Grilling more about the temp you’re cooking at than how it’s heated. Smoking happens below 300F most of the time. The Sawtooth Pellet Grill can get to 550F-600F at the top end so it’s more of a grill at that point that smokes. I’ve grilled burgers and fajitas and other stuff like you would a gas grill. Works great and it’s made in the US!
Many other features like its automatic control, built in meat probe etc. have made us select this smoker as no 1. And the most amazing fact is the price. In the price range (see the price here), we never thought that we could get all these features and benefits. We have used high-end smokers like Rec Tec smokers, but this Camp Chef PG24 can beat all through its performance and affordability.
It’s incredibly energy efficient, as well. When it’s first firing up, this smoker uses 300 watts for the first 4 minutes, then only 50 watts for the rest of the time it’s on. Which is less than a goddamned light-bulb.
An ideal blend of sweet savory and tart. An ideal blend of sweet savory and tart. A combination of maple hickory and cherry – perfectly versatile for all your cooking needs. No artificial flavors spray scents glues or chemicals. Burn hotter and cleaner. Pellets are easy to use great tasting and all natural forcing the natural juices in … More + Product Details Close
So if you want more of a smoke profile.. cook at longer and lower temps in your pellet pit. I have found that is the best way to get a more distinct smoke profile in your food. Cook at 180-190… for the first several hours. That probably has the biggest impact… next, make sure you are using a good, quality hardwood pellet. I can tell you that you will notice a very large difference in the flavor profile between say a traeger pellet, vs. say one of Candy’s.
As you can see, I had the Memphis Pro running along side a Pellet Pro grill I was testing at the same time. The stainless steel cart comes with shelving on each side, I removed the right shelf for space saving purposes – which was a snap by the way.
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On average, a pound of pellets lasts between an hour and and an hour-and-a-half when smoking at 250°F in ideal conditions (75°F, no wind). When you increase the cooking temperature, the pellets burn more quickly. In cold weather, you’ll also burn pellets at a faster rate as the grill tries to maintain the desired temperature.
why don’t pellet smokers have a drawer for sawdust like some of the propane units. It could slide in over the fire pot much like you mentioned for the mojobricks. Dampened sawdust still makes one of the best smudges.
There is also an included sear box that can reach up to 900° F so you can sear your meat to perfection. Once you are done grilling your steaks, burgers and chicken you can transfer them to the sear box so they can get the nice and crisp caramelized sear.
Most pellet smokers are wood-burning ovens: great for ribs, turkey, brisket, and butts, but not so great for grilling steaks and burgers. The FEC PG series was one of the first lines of pellet burners to offer a sear station, a cast iron cooking grate right over the fire pot where the wood pellets burn. It isn’t the best setup for searing, but it’s better than most other pellet searing schemes. The real beauty of the Fast Eddy’s design is that it produces meat with a deep mahogany finish, much like a competition-grade offset smoker. It also has two upper-level heat zones, for a total of four distinct temperature zones.
WiFi capability: Companies have started to take advantage of the fact that pellet smokers have a computer in them by design. By integrating WiFi connectivity, you can monitor and control the temperature of your grill from just about anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection. Companies like Green Mountain Grills are now providing free apps that you can download and make use of for ultimate convenience.
Kevin, appreciate your reviews and insights. I am currently looking for my first pellet cooker which will be primarily used for camping, therefore I will likely purchase a portable unit. Your review on the GMG Davy Crocket answered some questions for me. I was initially contemplating the Traeger Junior Elite and GMG Davy Crocket, but after doing some homework I’m now considering the Rec Tec Mini as well. I can purchase the Traeger and GMG now for $350 and the Rec Tec for $500. My dilemma is that I (like many others) take very good care of my gear/equipment, so whatever I purchase, I expect to get a great deal of use out of. With that said, making the wrong decision could be a 7-10 year mistake. There are aspects of each that I like, I guess my question is whether spending another $150 on the Rec Tec, in your opinion, would be worth it to you? I understand if you would rather stay away from specific recommendations, and if that is the case, any other thoughts you have would be appreciated.
It also utilizes the pellets put inside it with utmost efficiency. Its hopper can hold around 18 pounds of pellets, dispensing them automatically throughout the process. The digital thermostat works to ensure that they are not wasted. The smoker-grill can reach temperatures around the range of 500 F without any trouble, which makes this single unit capable of grilling and smoking with ease.
Stick burner vs Pellet… it’s time tending the fire question for me. Pellet poopers are way less work, but you can up your smoke or lower it with a great deal more variability with a stick burner. If you have the money, I’d go Yoder.
Most pellet grills have a meat probe outlet that you can plug into the control board. The other end of the probe will be placed in the meat so you can monitor the temperature. When connected the digital display will show the temperature of the food without you having to lift the lid.
Mention a pellet smoker and what comes to mind is the rich taste of BBQ, better control and convenience. These are exactly what the best pellet smokers should give you. To find out the best, among the many that are out there, you must consider all the various features. A burner that can give you control, convenience, long service and great flavor for your food are just some things the best pellet smoker should have. Let’s take a look at all the factors you need to consider when making your purchase.
The digital controller is the brains of the pellet grill. It’s the computer and uses a chip, sensors, circuits, and an algorithm to regulate the pellet grill’s temperature and make sure it accurately maintains the temperature programmed into the control board. The controller is probably the single most important part of your pellet grill, and how good the controller is usually determines how well the pellet grill performs.
Today, the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA) reports that wood pellet grills are one of the hottest trends in the industry, offering consumers the primal flavor of wood smoke coupled with the turn-of-a-knob convenience of gas. Roughly 300,000 units were sold last year—less than 2 percent of total grill sales—but the popularity of pellet grills is surging.
As you can see, for Plowboys Barbecue, as with most other winning teams out there, competition BBQ success is all about mastering a process that you can duplicate. Not having to sweat the fire management side of things is what Todd Johns loves most about his Fast Eddy’s Pellet Smoker.
All in all I really love the RecTec for its warranty, ease of use, customer service and ability to get calls from the owner when you need help either late at night or on the weekends….weber customer service is good also, but it is just a matter of personal choice……$1500 is more than a “few hundred” more than the Yoder……thats $500…….that is a lot on money..IMHO……but again, its just a matter of what you like best in all the models……I prefer RecTec and the Weber as back up for the wife….
Honestly, I can’t think of anything negative to say about the Memphis Pro. The only thing I can see that sets the MAK pellet grill apart from this Memphis Pro is that it has the built in cold smoking ability that this Memphis Pro model does not.
The Davy Crockett is a super portable pellet grill. With legs that fold up and compact form factor, this grill can go just about anywhere. On top of that, you can run this little smoker on both 110 and 12 volt power.
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Hello Mark! Thanks for commenting here. The Kalamazoo Hybrid Grill looks like a BEAST! If you can swing it, I’d go for it. I truly enjoyed cooking on the Memphis Grill, which is to date the most high end pellet grill I’ve used. It offered a nice blend of professional grade convection with the wood fire taste of the pellets. The Kalamazoo hybrid really does seem to offer one step beyond with the addition of charcoal and wood chunks. I see that Derrick Riches of About.com stands behind the Kalamazoo brand. You’re hard pressed to get a better endorsement of a grilling product than that! Keep me posted at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how your search goes! 🙂
The grill is plated with beautiful stainless steel that gives the grill a refined and impressive look. The huge cooking area includes 570 square inches of surface area. That’s enough to hold 20 burgers or 4 rib racks! It also contains a second warming rack and bottom shelf that provides the grill stability and extra storage. Additionally, the legs are built with extreme thickness giving the grill a grounded base. The caster wheels add portability to the grill so you can find that perfect place in the backyard.
For the serious backyard-griller, the best pellet burning grills are great since they smoke, roast, and grill anything. Because of the way that it is designed, the best pellet grill will give everything you grill an authentic, smoky barbeque flavor, with the convenience of it being right in your backyard. Before making a decision, here are some things that you need to know about the best pellet grills and how to choose the perfect one for your home.
Yes. Pellet grills go by many different names: pellet smokers, wood pellet grills, electric pellet smokers, electric smoker grills, and wood fired grills, just to name a few. They all refer to the same thing: a versatile electric outdoor cooker that’s fueled by hardwood pellets.